Goldenberries, ground cherries or husk cherries are fruit in in the tomato family (genus Physalis). The fruit are orange berries enveloped in an easily removable husk. There is a market in local grocery stores and farm markets for this high value specialty fruit and popularity has been increasing over the past couple years. The market value of goldenberries in stores and farm markets around $4.00 for 3 or 4 ounces.
There are two species being produced, Physalis peruviana and Physalis grisea. P. peruviana is a very large upright plant with a vigorous growth habit. The fruit tastes of citrus flavors. Physalis grisea is a prostrate, sprawing plant with fruit having an intricate sweet flavor of pineapple and melons (Figures 1 and 2). Physailis grisea is also known as ground cherry or husk cherry.
Trials conducted at Wye Research and Education Center were developed to investigate the practicality of high tunnel production of the two Physalis species to expand growing season and increase sales windows for premium prices. In 2016 and 2017, fruit yield and harvesting time was measured and pests and diseases where tracked to determine management tactics and potential profitability. For 2020, P. grisea is being trialed for nitrogen rate recommendations.